Every week, the numbers of coronavirus infections and deaths continue to rise as the virus spreads around the globe. While the origin of the virus is not yet fully known, responses to this outbreak are disrupting airline flights, closing borders, and bringing commerce to a standstill in affected areas.
To combat the virus, public health agencies around the world are taking drastic measures. In China, the nation of origin for the illness, major cities have been quarantined for over a month, leaving many stuck indoors. In northern Italy, more than 1,250 cases have been reported and 10 percent of doctors cannot work because they tested positive for the virus (AP, March 2, 2020). Some Italian schools, universities, museums, and cinemas have been closed, and supermarket shelves have been emptied (Deutsche Welle, February 25, 2020). Eleven towns in that beleaguered Mediterranean nation are on lockdown for 15 days as people await release after the incubation period (The Guardian, February 24, 2020). Residents of these affected areas have been shocked by the deserted streets. As the epidemic spreads, we will likely see conditions like these spread to new areas.
Bible prophecies clearly state there will be widespread disease epidemics as the end of the age approaches (Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:11). The massive-scale quarantines provide some insight into what this coming calamitous period could be like. One of the consequences of unrepented sins is that “your highways shall be desolate” (Leviticus 26:21–22)—a condition in which future epidemics could play a role. We do not know the exact events that will fulfill such prophecies, but the coronavirus epidemic gives us a glimpse of larger things prophesied to come. For greater insight into Bible prophecies to watch for as events unfold, read or listen to Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return.